The Emergency Alert That Had Everyone On Edge This Weekend
I think it's safe to say, recent events taking place in the world might have some of us a little keyed up right now. That's entirely understandable and an appropriate reaction, most would agree. That's why this weekend's emergency alert, which was sent out statewide, had a few of us scratching our heads, and a good number of us checking our heart rates and reaching for some Tums.
Like a lot of folks, I spent the weekend eagerly watching for any updates from overseas to see how this situation with Russia and Ukraine was going to unfold. Without getting deep into the politics, I think we can all agree that things got tense really quickly, and in doing so, the world sat up and took notice. A lot of people are worried about worst-case-scenario situations and spent some time over the weekend possibly thinking about those outcomes.
To say a great number of us were on edge would be accurate.
That's why when my phone went off while I was driving my kids to church Sunday, just before 6:30 in the evening, and all I saw at first were the words "Emergency Alert", my heart lept into my mouth. That's all I saw because I was driving, so I had to wait until I got to where I was going, to find out what kind of emergency they were talking about. I can tell you that 15-minute drive felt like it took an hour.
We had started to see some tiny snowflakes come down on our drive from Bangor to Orono, but I had read the forecast and knew that was a possibility for the evening. And it's February in Maine. Snow is kind of a given.
By the time we parked, the kids sensed my worry and started to ask if all was ok. I took the phone out of the hand-free holder and began to read the rest of the alert. Then I started to both chuckle and get really annoyed at the same time.
"We're all set," I said to the kids. "Apparently, we're due to get a Snow Squall is all."
In my mind, I was cursing out (on my way into the church, mind you) whoever got the misguided idea to send an alert out TO THE ENTIRE STATE OF MAINE, that we were expected to get some snow! I get if it was an isolated thing, and I understand if it was an actual emergency situation.
When I woke up this morning, a quick glance through my social media feeds had me feeling pretty validated in my aggravation.
With a deliberate sense of sarcasm, many of my friends had marked themselves "safe from the 2022 Snow Squall."
Given the timing of what's going on in the world, unless catastrophic, perhaps last night's alert could have been approached differently.
After seeing all of the reactions online, there several occasions where folks were wondering if this was a sly way to check to see if the Emergency Alert System was in fact working well. Perhaps a possibility? Not that that helps anyone feel better or less anxious about the situation.
What do you think? Were you caught off guard? Was it unnecessarily unnerving or totally appropriate?